Rio 2016: Matt Kuchar thought golf was a team event

Rio 2016: Matt Kuchar thought golf was a team event

The former Players Champion was unaware of the format that the Olympics used for golf.

john-lupo
John Lupo

With golf set to make its return to the Rio 2016 Olympics for the first time in 112 years, one of its leading players was apparently confused on how the format would work in Rio. Matt Kuchar thought the competition in Rio would be a team event rather than the regular individual stroke-play format. Kuchar was asked about his participation at the current PGA Tour stop in Connecticut, the Travelers Championship where Kuchar is currently competing.

Kuchar talks to Golf Digest

Via Golf Digest, he said the following: "Now, I may be mis-informed or just don't know. You may have to help me. Is there no team format at all? When they first talked about it, if there were four Americans it was the two highest ranked and they were going to combine the scores for a team event. There is no combined? No team event whatsoever? Just an individual? We did the same thing at World Cup: 72-hole stroke play. I played with Kevin Streelman. We never played together but we did represent the United States in a team format."

Kuchar continued; "That was my initial impression of what was happening with the Olympics, but I'm incorrect on that. I knew – from my understanding it was supposed to be Bubba (Watson) and Rickie (Fowler). They were the two highest-seeded Americans. Their combined score, I thought, was going to be the team part. There is no combination, no team at all? OK." 

Matt Kuchar at this week's Travelers Championship before the start of the golf competition in Rio/Photo: Michael Cohen/Getty Images
Matt Kuchar at this week's Travelers Championship before the start of the golf competition in Rio | Michael Cohen - Getty Images
 

Kuchar part of a strong American squad, despite the absence of Spieth, Mickelson

Kuchar's participation in Rio was confirmed last week when Jordan Spieth withdrew. Joining him in Rio are two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson, 2015 Players champion Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed. They're all expected to be medal contenders alongside the likes of reigning Masters champion Danny Willett, current British Open winner Henrik Stenson, two-time major winner Martin Kaymer, 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia. The tournament gets underway next Thursday, August 11th and runs through Sunday, August 14th. It will be played on the Olympic Golf Course in the Barra da Tijuca region of Rio, designed by Gil Hanse.

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